That was just what the doctor ordered.
The Avalanche took a sputtering offense into Ottawa tonight and clearly were inspired by the giant "O" the Senators were sporting on their 3rd jerseys. The game got off to a rough start, with Milan Michalek deflecting a monstrous point shot by Erik Karlsson just 4 minutes in to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead. And that's where Senators fans, like my dear friend Melissa, can stop reading.
After that, it was all Avalanche. The Avalanche offense woke up in a big way, with Joaqim Lindstrom, Matt Duchene (a beauty), Dan Winnik and David Jones all notching their first goals of the year (Lindstrom added a 2nd for good measure). Paul Stastny, Erik Johnson and Shane O'Brien all recorded their first points of the year. The Avs scored their first PP goal...and 2nd...and 3rd...and 4th, while also scoring their first shortie of the year (Winnik).
But it wasn't just offensive output. The Avalanche dominated for much of the game. The outshot the Sens 39-16, allowing just 8 shots in the first two periods. They stole pucks, they won the battles in the corners, they won the draws...they just played great. I can't think of one player who didn't look good tonight. I do think they got a little careless at times with the big lead and I always worry about the team getting too complacent after an "easy" win like this, but those are worries for another day. This was a big one; the Avs have 3 wins on the road trip, guaranteeing a winning record.
I will admit, it was tough to watch former Av Craig Anderson get lit up like that. He did not have a banner game, but also had no help whatsoever.
- Lindstrom - Duchene - Hejduk
- Jones - Stastny - Kobasew
- Landeskog - O'Reilly - Winnik
- McLeod - McClement - Galiardi
- Hejda - Johnson
- Quincey - O'Brien
- Wilson - O'Byrne
We saw the first lineup change of the year tonight, with Peter Mueller scratched for Joakim Lindstrom (who responded well). TJ Galiardi got the first shift on the Stastny line with Jones opening the game on the 4th line, but after the first shift they seemed back in their usual spots. There was some shuffling in the 2nd period between Kobasew and Hejduk and with the pairings (O'Brien and O'Byrne spent some time together), but that seemed short-lived.
Erik Johnson is the first repeat this year with the rotating third A
- Ryan O'Reilly leads the Avs in points, with 4 while Ryan Wilson leads the team in +/- (+3)
- Besides his two points, Wilson was a big factor, fighting Zachary Smith after Smith's head hit on Landeskog. Loved the way he came to the defense of his teammate there.
- TJ Galiardi was the only Avalanche without a SOG
- Craig Anderson has allowed 12 goals in his 2 career starts against the Avalanche.
The Avs are in Montreal on Saturday for game 4 of their 5-game road trip.